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Merlin Rocket Open at Carsington Sailing Club

by Ian Tinker 22 Sep 2011 17:59 BST 11 September 2011
Merlins at Carsington © Dave Higgins

10 Merlins decided to ignore the fact that Hurricane Katia was heading to Carsington & took to the waters to be rewarded for their efforts with an almighty rainstorm just before the first start. Our Olympian Race Officer Henry Wright sheltering in the committee boat set a challenging course around the club marks utilizing all of Carsington Water.

With the fleet getting away cleanly at the first attempt Matt Biggs crewed by Ben Hollis led round the first mark closely followed by Ian Tinker crewed by Sarah Allen from the home club. Matt retained his lead throughout the race without ever totally getting away from the rest of the fleet which saw several place changes with Steve & Gill Leney eventually securing second place followed by Paul Hollis crewed by James Dawes.

As the wind picked up for the second race Tom & Andy Chadfield made an early tack for the shelter of the shore enjoying an excellent shift enabling them to lead round the first mark. Unfortunately they were greeted by a fierce gust coming over the dam wall with the result that they had their first capsize of the year & Paul Hollis lost his new mast. Matt meanwhile ignored the chaos to build up a sizeable lead from Paul & Michelle Keeling who had decided to conserve their energy by sitting out the first race.

Matt headed directly to the clubhouse having secured an overall first whilst the rest of the fleet tackled a third race which saw a close battle between Paul, Tom & Chris Martin crewed by Dan Morgan. The battle was partially resolved by Chris capsizing to windward on a beat in full view of the clubhouse. Paul led round the last gybe mark but played safe leaving his spinnaker in the boat, knowing that his second place overall was secure. Tom, believing he wouldn't capsize twice in a day, hoisted the kite on the final reach to overtake Paul & take the bullet.

All who braved the weather had a fantastic sail & Carsington Sailing Club looks forward to a repeat performance next year.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
13684Matt BiggsBen HollisBlithfield11122
23565Paul KeelingMichelle KeelingBlithfield12224
33716Steve LeneyGill LeneyBlithfield2375
43617Tom ChadfieldAndy ChadfieldBlithfield6516
53669Ian TinkerSarah AllenCarsington SC4437
63508Colin AndersonSean AndersonRedditch SC77411
73583Chris MartinDan MorganBlithfield561211
83496Martin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield88513
93730Paul HollisJames DawesBlithfield3111214
103591Terry BridgewaterEstelle BridgewaterEarlswood1291221

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